Phil Jackson trades Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to the Dallas Mavericks for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert and others

By Clifford Davis

Phil Jackson begin revamping this Knicks roster to fit his triangle offense, and possibly show Carmelo Anthony he means business. He shipped Tyson Chandler and struggling point guard Raymond Felton to the Dallas Mavericks for point guard Jose Calderon, veteran center Samuel Dalembert, and guards Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington. The trade also gives the Knicks the Mavericks second-round picks (34th and 51st) in Thursday’s draft.

The move is significant on many fronts. For starters, it gives the Knicks draft picks in a deep draft, which they did not have. It allows them to build towards the future. The Knicks have reportedly shown interest in guard P.J Hairston out of North Carolina, Jahii Carson from Arizona State and Tyler Ennis out of Syracuse. All three guards are expected to go late in the first round, which the Knicks do not have a selection in.

There is a chance, however, the Knicks move into the first round of the draft, with the possibility of shipping guard Iman Shumpert for a first round pick. Shumpert has been a disappointment since he hurt his knee late in his rookie season, but a guard the size of Shumpert can benefit in Phil Jackson’s triangle offense, so it remains to be seen if he will be dealt.

With this trade, the Knicks upgraded their point guard position, moving on from Raymond Felton, who struggled on and off the court, and who also has trouble staying in shape. They replace him with Jose Calderon, who is a better shooter than Raymond Felton, and who will be an all-around better fit for the triangle offense. Calderon started 81 games last season for the Mavericks and he averaged 11.4 points a game and 4.7 assist. He is signed for three more years at $7.1 million, $7.4 million, and $7.7 million.

Tyson Chandler, who struggled his last couple seasons will leave a defensive void for the Knicks. He was entering the final year of his contract at $14.6 million, so the Knicks will have some financial flexibility this year. Dalembert is a serviceable veteran but he is a downgrade compared to Tyson Chandler. Moving Chandler was necessary because it was the only chance the Knicks had to trade Felton who the Knicks desperately wanted to get rid of. Phil Jackson said there would be significant changes to the roster, and this is only the beginning.

“The journey to build this team for the upcoming season and beyond continues. We have added players with this move that will fit right in to our system while maintaining future flexibility,” said Phil Jackson in a press release.

It is not known how the move will impact the decision of free agent Carmelo Anthony, who opted out of his contract. It is known Anthony wants to go to a team that gives him a chance at competing at a championship, so the Knicks trade can’t hurt their chances at signing him. The trade shows Carmelo that Phil Jackson is serious about turning this franchise around, and making them a contender. This trade doesn’t necessarily do that, but it is a step in the right direction. How Carmelo Anthony views it, however, remains to be seen.

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